Calgary Minute: Community Courts, Speed Limits, and Defund Police or Defund Council
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
This morning there will be a Special Meeting of Council. Council will be voting on whether members of the public will be allowed to make a presentation to the budget on November 23rd, An initial report on what will be proposed in the budget is also supposed to be available by now, but this document has not yet been published by the City, so I guess we will have to just wait and see what is in it tomorrow.
On Tuesday there will be a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee. One interesting thing that will be before the Committee is a summary of all the different reports, motions, and directions, that are due to come to the Committee in the future. You can see a list of outstanding items here.
- The other main thing that the Priorities and Finance Committee will be discussing is a report into a project by the Council Innovation Fund. The Council Innovation Fund provides money to pilot projects that Council thinks will improve the City and in 2018 it provided $250,000 to fund a Calgary Community Court which would act as an alternative approach to justice that focusses on individuals struggling with trauma, addiction, mental health, and/or homelessness as underlying causes for criminal involvement. City administration claims this pilot was a big success, and remarkably, only $150,000 of the budget was spent, with $100,000 set to be returned to the CIF. Truly remarkable, at least until you read past the Executive Summary and find out that no Community Court was ever actually established... the $150,000 was spent just to create a *plan* for how to create a Community Court!
Last Week In Calgary:
- Council voted 9-5 to defund the police by $20 million in their upcoming budget. We think Council is out of touch, and we should defund Calgary Council instead. Almost 4,000 Calgarians have already signed our petition to defund Calgary Council - if you haven't yet, please click here to join them!
- On speed limits, Council made an unexpected u-turn after a proposal by Councillors Farkas and Demong. Instead of voting to drop speed limits, Council decided to delay the debate until next year, when they will instead consider whether the decision should be made by Calgarians in a referendum at next year's election. Letting the public decide - what a novel idea.
- Finally, Councillor Woolley is under fire after hurling personal insults at a fellow Councillor on Twitter. Other Councillors have been referred to the City's Integrity Commissioner and punished by Council for far lesser infractions. Do the rules apply equally to all Councillors? I guess we'll find out soon enough...
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